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|Talia al Ghul|
|Real name:||Talia al Ghul|
|First Appearance:||Detective Comics #411|
|Created by:|| Denny O'Neil|
League of Assassins
|Abilities:||Extended lifespan through the use of Lazarus Pits|
|Portrayed by:|| Helen Slater (voice)|
Stana Katic (voice)
Talia al Ghul is the daughter of Ra's al Ghul. She is an occasional lover and enemy of Batman. She is the mother of Damian Wayne.
In her youth, Talia travelled the world with her father learning and adapting his intellect and skills which she proves to be more competent than any of Ghul's other children. She excels to the point in managing his criminal and legitimate operations, that she is eventually appointed as Ghul's primary secondary despite the fact that Ghul considers women to be inherently inferior to men. Ghul is supportive of his daughter though has commented that if possible, he would correct "that sole failing" in his child suggesting that he fears any possible distortion of her through chemical or biological modifications despite his aversion to her as a woman.
Talia first meets Batman when he rescues her from Dr. Darrk, apparently the leader of the League of Assassins. It is eventually revealed that the League is just one part of Ra's al Ghul's organization, The Demon, and that Darrk apparently turned against Ra's after failing in a mission (the usual punishment for this being death). At the end of the story, she shoots and kills Darrk to save Batman's life.
When Robin (Dick Grayson) is kidnapped, Ra's al Ghul enters the Batcave, revealing to Batman that he knows Batman's secret identity and claims that Talia was also kidnapped along with Dick. Batman then goes with Ra's to search for Dick and Talia; it is revealed that the kidnapping was a setup designed by Ra's as a final test of whether or not Batman is suitable as an heir. Over the years however Talia has proven an important 'ally' in her way; most prominently, she encourages Batman to return to Gotham City when it is declared a "No Man's Land" following an earthquake, and he has lost his fighting spirit and didn't believe he could save Gotham.
The Red Hood
After Jason Todd's death at the hands of the Joker, Batman brought his body back to Gotham and buried him with the rest of the Wayne Family. However, several years later, during The Infinite Crisis, Superboy Prime trying to change reality, resurrects Jason with a reality-altering punch. Although Jason is returned to life, his body and mind are still broken from the Joker's attack. Some time later, he is discovered by the League of Assassins and is taken in by Talia and Ra's Al Ghul. Jason spends months in their care, and although his body recuperates, his mind is shattered.
Seeing no other way to help him, Talia takes Jason down to the Lazarus Pit and throws his body in while her father regenerates himself. Jason is fully revived in body and mind. Immediately afterward, in order to spare Jason her father's wrath, she aids the boy's escape. Before giving him a passionate kiss, she informs him that Batman had let his killer live.
Livid at the fact that the Joker was still alive and that Batman had done nothing more than imprison him again, Jason pursues his own brand of justice. Talia agrees to finance Jason and aid him in his training, so that he can become the second Red Hood.
Talia enters a brief alliance with Bane, "The Man Who Broke the Bat," whom Ra's has also considered might be suitable as an heir. However, after a short time, she rejects Bane, though her father still wants her to marry the musclebound assassin. When Bane is defeated by Batman soon after, Ra's gives up trying to match him with Talia.
Talia, disillusioned with her father and his plans, leaves him to run LexCorp for Lex Luthor when Luthor becomes President of the United States. Although she seemingly supports Luthor, she secretly works to undermine him, anonymously leaking news of his underhanded dealings to Superman. When the time comes for Luthor's downfall, she sells all of LexCorp's assets to the Wayne Foundation, leaving Luthor penniless and his crimes exposed to all.
Death and the Maidens
During his travels in Russia in the 18th century, Ra's al Ghul met a woman by whom he had a daughter named Nyssa. Ra's abandons Nyssa at a crucial time: she is tortured, and her entire family is killed in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. Seeking vengeance, Nyssa plans to use her considerable wealth and resources to kill Ra's by befriending, kidnapping, and brainwashing Talia, turning her into a weapon to kill their father. To this end, she captured Talia and, using a Lazarus Pit, killed and resurrected her in rapid succession, leaving Talia virtually broken from the trauma of dying again and again in so short a time. Rendered apathetic by her time in the camp, unable to feel anything, Nyssa also plans to assassinate Superman with kryptonite bullets she stole from the Batcave, hoping that, by uniting the world in one moment of tragedy, she would manage to rouse herself once more.
While Batman is successful in preventing the assassination of Superman, he is unable to stop Nyssa from killing Ra's. This, in turn, is actually part of a greater plan concocted by Ra's, who wanted to ensure that his daughters would accept their destinies as his heirs, and take up his genocidal campaign. Realizing and accepting this, Nyssa and Talia become the heads of The Demon. Both sisters consider Batman to be their enemy.
Talia is revealed to be one of the core members of the third Secret Society of Super Villains (along with Lex Luthor (secretly Alexander Luthor, Jr. in disguise), Black Adam, Doctor Psycho, Deathstroke, and Calculator). Talia mainly acts as a recruiter in the Society and is charged with bringing in new members. She is also in control of both the League of Assassins and the H.I.V.E Institute at this time (though how she gained control of H.I.V.E. at all is unknown). In issue #6 she duels with Scandal Savage (who she sees as an equal because of their fathers)during the Society's assault on the Secret Six, and despite having less protective gear and uses only a sword while Scandal wields her Lamentation Blades, Talia gains the upper hand and has Scandal in a death strike until she knocked unconscious by Scandal's mole in the Society and her lover, Knockout.
This is revealed to be part of one of Nyssa's plans to take over the planet and bring about world peace and equality. Nyssa explains why she and Talia are working with the villains of the Society to Batgirl (Cassandra Cain).
""Vast stockpiles of food rot, while people starve. Millions die from curable diseases, while drug companies rake in the billions. Our environment chokes on our waste, becoming so toxic that life fails. It's genocide by greed, apathy, and neglect. These are the real crimes. Something must change. The Society's plans are vast... they will succeed. I can't stop them. When the world gets a true taste of violent oppression, and their heroes lie dead and broken -- apathy will die. That's when you'll lead my league to sanction key society members. Leaving Talia and I to lead the revolution. A new world will be born, one of peace and equality. Millions of lives will be saved."—Batgirl #67
Nyssa fails to recruit Batgirl to her new League of Assassins, and the Society fails to achieve its goals.
One Year Later
After Nyssa's apparent death at the hands of Cassandra Cain (who usurps control of The League of Assassins), Talia becomes the new Demon's Head. However, the League of Assassins has apparently splintered and Cassandra Cain has gained partial control.
Batman's son, from Son of the Demon is reintroduced to continuity in the story Batman & Son, written by Grant Morrison. However, in this version, the child (called Damian) was not abandoned or retrieved from his adoptive parents, instead he was partially raised by The League of Assassins. His mother gives him back to Batman, as part of a grand scheme involving ninja man-bats and the kidnapping of the British Prime Minister's wife. Batman is unsure whether this is his son, but he attempts to deal with the spoiled, hot-tempered child anyway. Damian, effectively raised to be an assassin, kills a costumed villain known as The Spook and nearly kills Tim Drake, the newest Robin. Shortly afterwards, father and son confront each other on a ship which is destroyed by a torpedo.
Damian survived the explosion, and severely injured has to undergo a transplant of all his major organs.
Talia is prompted to read the history of Ra's al Ghul to Batman's son Damian by a mysterious figure from Ra's past: the White Ghost. Unknown to her, the White Ghost plans to use Damian as a vessel for Ra's return. However, Talia and Damian manage to escape before the plan is completed. After the escape, Batman confronts the White Ghost; he fights Batman, but accidentally ends up falling into a Lazarus Pit.
R.I.P. & Final Crisis
During the Batman R.I.P. storyline, Talia and Damian learn of the Black Glove's plot against Batman and begin devising a plan to help save him. Mother and son arrive at Wayne Manor just in time to save Commissioner Gordon from one of the Black Glove's deathtraps that had claimed another officer's life. Talia and Damian agree to join forces with Gordon to save Batman. Unfortunately, they are too late and arrive on the scene of Batman's apparent death, learning from Robin that Batman went missing and may be dead after fighting Doctor Hurt after Batman crashes Hurt's helicopter. Furious that Batman may be dead, Talia sends her assassins injected with the Man-Bat formula to murder Jezebel Jet (who played a major role in Batman's death), which they accomplish.
Following Batman's apparent death (It was later revealed Batman survived the crash only to be captured by Darkseid and apparently killed by the New God during the Final Crisis storyline), Talia leaves Damian in the hands of his adopted brother Dick Grayson. Once Dick becomes the new Batman, Damian is selected by Grayson to succeed Tim Drake as Robin. During Final Crisis, she is placed in the new Society's inner circle by Libra, though despite Talia's role in the Society she still behaves almost devotedly to Batman.
It is revealed that in Gotham CIty Sirens #2 that Talia had trained Catwoman to never reveal Bruce Wayne's secret identity even under the most intense psychological coercion.
Following an operation in which most of Damian's internal organs and bones are replaced, it is revealed that Talia inserted an implant into Damian's spine that allows her or anyone she chooses (in this case the assassin Deathstroke) to remotely control her son's body. She intends to have Deathstroke use Damian to kill Dick Grayson, who she sees as holding back her son's potential, though this fails when Grayson utilizes the implant's two-way connection to electrocute Deathstroke. After Grayson frees Damian of her control Talia reveals that she has begun cloning her son upon realizing that Damian has completely sided with his father. She is too much of a perfectionist to forgive her son for defying her like this, and tells Damian he is no longer welcome in the House of al Ghul.
Talia's recent role has become more antagonistic towards Batman while her son has begun to side more with Batman, an unusual development as she and Damian now parallel Talia's devotion to Batman while defying her father, though Talia appears to be less forgiving to Damian than Ra's was to her.
Talia has now formed the Leviathan, a shadowy organization meant to counter Bruce's "Batman Incorporated" project. Talia declares war on Batman and places a $500,000,000 bounty on her son's head. Her loyal clone of Damian, known as The Heretic, stabs Damian through the chest and delivers the killing stroke to her son.
After killing The Heretic she confronts Bruce in the Batcave and is killed by Kathy Kane. After Talia's death she was buried. Bruce came back to Wayne Manor and found the graves of Talia and Damian empty.
Powers and Abilities
- Longevity: Extended lifespan through the use of Lazarus Pits.
- Businesswoman: Talia possesses an excellent head for business.
- Advanced Combatant: Talia excels in hand-to-hand combat and the use of weapons.
- Skilled Assassin
- High Intellect: Talia has a high intelligence.
- The exact history of the New Earth Talia has not been revealed thus far. In several alternate reality versions such as the graphic novel Batman: Birth of the Demon (1992) explains how Ra's al Ghul met her mother, who was of mixed Chinese and Arab descent, at the Woodstock Festival. Talia's mother later dies of a drug overdose. This version is contrast to the early history listed in Batman: Son of the Demon (1987), which states that Talia's mother was named Melisande and was murdered by a former servant of Ra's named Qayin.
- Son of the Demon: Ra's al Ghul successfully enlists Batman's aid in defeating a rogue assassin who had murdered his wife. Batman is nearly killed protecting Talia from an attack by the assassin's agents.
- Talia gives birth successfully. The child is left at an orphanage; he is adopted and given the name Ibn al Xu'ffasch. The only clue to the child's heritage is a jewel-encrusted necklace given to Talia which Talia leaves with the child.
- The story used to be considered to be outside of the DC universe's standard continuity. The story has apparently been modified and is once more canon, however. It is referenced in three Elseworlds storylines: Kingdom Come, its sequel The Kingdom, and Brotherhood of the Bat feature two alternate versions of the child as an adult, coming to terms with his dual heritage.
- Talia is mentioned in Ra's al Ghul's journals in the Batman Begins novelization.
In other media
Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
She first appeared in "Sidekicks Assemble!", voiced by Andrea Bowen. where she and her father Ra's al Ghul on their flying island create plants to destroy Coast City, but was stopped by Robin, Speedy, and Aqualad. In "The Knights of Tomorrow!" (which is a book written by Alfred), Selina Kyle aka Catwoman is Bruce's wife and Damian's mother instead of Talia. In "Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above Earth!", she is now shown harboring a crush on Batman and saves him after Ra's orders his execution. Enraged at his daughter's betrayal, Ra's al Ghul ties Talia and Batman to a rocket aimed at the sun, but they are rescued by the intervention of the Justice Society of America and the Justice League International. She presumably escapes after Ra's al Ghul is presumably killed during his fight with Batman. Talia makes a cameo in the series finale at the wrap party for the now-canceled series. The finale marks Talia's only media appearance where her father is not present.
Talia appears in the Young Justice animated TV show spin-off comic series, aiding her father and Ubu in an attack on Ferris Aircraft. Later on in the series, it is revealed that in this reality she turned Matt Hagen into Clayface. Hagen is portrayed as a low-level member of the League of Shadows attempting to seduce Talia to gain access to a Lazarus Pit to cure his cancer. Upon learning she was being used, Talia allowed Hagen to use a Lazarus Pit, only to trap him inside it for several months, mutating him into Clayface.
- Teresa Palmer was to portray Talia al Ghul in Justice League: Mortal as one of the film's main antagonists. The film was never made.
- Talia has a non-speaking role in the animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood. When Ra's al Ghul flashbacks to Jason Todd's resurrection in the Lazarus Pit Talia is seen next to him. When Jason wakes up inside the Lazarus Pit he tries to escape and Talia attempts to shoot him; however, Ra's wants Jason alive and stops Talia from killing him.
- Talia appears in the 2014 animated movie Son of Batman. She is voiced by Morena Baccarin.
Batman: Dark Tomorrow
Talia makes an appearance in the video game Batman: Dark Tomorrow as one of the main characters. She briefly cameos in the dialogue during the game's introduction, and then reappears again in some of the final missions and cutscenes, since Ra's al Ghul is featured as the main villain.
Lego Batman: The Videogame
Talia was a playable character in the Nintendo DS version of Lego Batman: The Videogame.
DC Universe Online
Talia appears in DC Universe Online and is voiced by Ellie McBride. She is featured as the "alert" broadcaster for the villain missions.
Batman: Arkham City
- Main article: Talia al Ghul (Arkhamverse)